Scallops the main ingredient of unique gathering for foodies; SUN, sea, sand and shellfish. ANN EVANS takes a preview glimpse of the Isle of Man Queenie Festival.: Food.
IF YOU love sunshine and seafood - and you're in need of a holiday - why not head out to the Queenie Festival on the Isle on Man.
This unique food festival, now in its second year, celebrates the island's local delicacy of the Manx queenie scallops and takes place from June 29 to July 5.
The queen scallops (chlamys opercularis) are close cousins of the king scallop caught in and around the Isle of Man's clear waters between June and October each year. These queenies are thought of as being a true delicacy, with aphrodisiac qualities, full of flavour and packed with all the natural goodness one would expect of shellfish.
Usually queenies are served with a white or cheese sauce and make an ideal starter or main course.
The island's food festival is building on the success of last year's event and has a great programme of activities lined up for this year.
There will be seafood barbecues, cookery demonstrations, food stalls, a farmers' market, plus lots of holiday fun with live music, beach volleyball, snorkelling in the shallows with scientists, sailing and kayaking, storytelling by actors around beach bonfires and lots more activities.
While the festival is in celebration of the queenie scallop, the island produces a wide range of delicious food and drink, such the world famous Manx smoked kippers, still produced traditionally on the island; and the unique Manx Loaghtan lamb.
Other locally produced speciality foods include cheeses, beers and ice cream.
Last year, the finale to the festival A Celebration of the Sea in Port St Mary, attracted around 3,000 people including national television crews and celebrity TV chefs The Hairy Bikers..
Hairy Biker Dave Myers spoke of last year's festival saying: "The Isle of Man Queenie Festival is a must.
The queenie scallop is one of the culinary treasures of Britain; here you can learn how to utilise this sustainable, tasty, product." While Hairy Biker Si King added: "The Isle of Man produces the best queenie scallops in the world, where better to discover this than among the boats and fishermen of the wonderful Isle of Man. Not forgetting all the other attractions, it's a great event."